Introduction


Robert Earl Burton founded The Fellowship of Friends in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1970.

Burton modeled his own group after that of Alex Horn, loosely borrowing from the Fourth Way teachings of Gurdjieff and Ouspensky. In recent years, the Fellowship has cast its net more broadly, embracing any spiritual tradition that includes (or can be interpreted to include) the notion of "presence."

The Fellowship of Friends exhibits the hallmarks of a "doomsday religious cult," wherein Burton exercises absolute authority, and demands loyalty and obedience. He warns that his is the only path to consciousness and eternal life. Invoking his gift of prophecy, he has over the years prepared his flock for great calamities (e.g. a depression in 1984, the fall of California in 1998, nuclear holocaust in 2006, and an ominous, yet unspecified new threat late in 2018.) While non-believers shall perish, through the direct intervention and guidance from 44 angels (including his divine father, Leonardo da Vinci) Burton and his followers will be spared, founding a new, and more perfect civilization.

Many regard Robert Earl Burton a narcissist and sociopath, surrounded by a largely greed- and power-driven inner circle. The following pages offer abundant evidence supporting that conclusion.

This archive draws
on official Fellowship publications and websites,
news archives, court documents, cult education and awareness forums, the (former) Fellowship Wikipedia page, the long-running Fellowship of Friends - Living Presence Discussion, the Internet Archive, the (former) Fellowship of Friends wiki project, and the editor's own 13-year experience in the Fellowship.

Presented in a reverse chronology, the Fellowship's history may be navigated via the "Blog Archive" located in the sidebar below.

Thursday, July 31, 1980

Anglicization of names

[ed.- Around this time, Robert Burton directed Fellowship members whose names were not English to choose an "anglicized" name. As with many refugees arriving in America in the 20th century, Burton viewed this measure as necessary to avoid the persecution of "outsiders" that would inevitably be precipitated by the calamities he predicted (the depression of 1984, the 1998 fall of California into the Pacific, and nuclear holocaust in 2006).

Linda Kaplan was enlisted to assist members in expediting the adoption of new names. The changes naturally caused family conflicts and estrangement between members and their non-member friends and relatives (who were in any case considered expendable "life people.") In Burton's grand scheme, this was all acceptable collateral damage.

Curiously, as Fellowship recruitment in the United States declined and foreign centers began producing the majority of fresh recruits, Burton's concerns about persecution faded.


What follows is but a small sampling of the absurd surname changes.]

Achitoff - ASTOR
Annis - HEARTWELL
Barth - BRIGHTON
Bassat - GRACE
Berkan - ROBERTS
Berrizbeita - WOODBERRY
Beth - MEADOWS
Beyer - HATHAWAY
Biagi - YORK
Borowiak - DALTON
Calpouzos - CAMBRIDGE
Chudnow - LEXINGTON
Dasmann - CHAMBERLAIN
Domingo - WILLIAMS
Dragovich - DRYDEN
Finegold - TAYLOR
Focazio - BROOKS
Friedlander - FAIRCHILDE
Gabreski - MEDLEY
Goeree - CHANCELLOR
Gallardo - PEARL
Goldman - WELLESLEY
Grenados - ROSEWOOD
Heick - WHITMORE
Kloumann - NEWMAN
Levy - ROBERTS
Lonsdorf - SHERBOURNE
Lundquist - COLLINS
Maryanoff - MILTON
Mautz - PALMER
Morales - MOORE
Nikhazy - BRITAIN
Partusch - PARKS
Pera - CLAREMONT
Poulain - WINTERS
Poznanter - ASHLEY
Rissenberg - FAIRCHILD
Salazar - AUGUST
Scheer - SHEPHERD
Schmitt - SCOTT
Schwartzberg - FALLBROOK
Shimono - WOODS
Trezevant - WREN
Venerella - STERLING
Wehrlich - CAMBRIDGE
Weingarten - COLLIN
Winiarski - WINDSOR
Wirk - WEST
Yamasaki - DAY
Yudin - WESTWOOD
Zimmerman - STUART
Zoller - FAIRCHILD

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